tesseract n.

in Madeleine L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time: a means of travelling through space by manipulating the dimensions of spacetime

The use of the word in other works—most prominently, the Robert Heinlein short story ‘—And He Built a Crooked House’ (Astounding Science-Fiction, Feb. 1941)—generally shows the use of the standard mathematical term in science-fictional contexts, rather than an actual science-fictional sense.

[extended use of tesseract, coined by Charles H. Hinton in 1888 as a name for a four-dimensional hypercube]



  • 1962 M. L’Engle Wrinkle in Time (1973) v. 78 Madeleine L'Engle

    Well, the fifth dimension’s a tesseract. You add that to the other four dimensions and you can travel through space without having to go the long way around.

  • 1962 M. L’Engle Wrinkle in Time (1973) xii. 194 Madeleine L'Engle

    If you could teach me enough more about the tesseract so that I could get back to Camazotz—.

  • 2007 E. M. Lerner & L. Niven Fleet of Worlds xxvii. 215 page image Larry Niven Edward M. Lerner bibliography

    Forward patted the tesseract; his fingertips bent oddly as they entered the volume of manipulated space.

Research requirements

antedating 1962

Last modified 2021-02-24 18:44:01
In the compilation of some entries, HDSF has drawn extensively on corresponding entries in OED.